- Peter Davanzo's New Directory - Needed?

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I've been sitting on this for a while, but with all the recent hoohah about directories and the enormous proliferation of the directory as a half baked scheme to attract links or throw out an ill conceived biz model the timing just hasn't seemed right.

The timing will probably never be right though - remember, links are BAD!


Peter of SearchEngineBlog reads here so im hoping he'll spot this and come answer a few rough but well intentioned questions from yours truly and any of the good boys and girls at Threadwatch who want to chime in.

Here goes:

  • Why another directory?
  • What's different about this one?
  • What have you done to avoid indexing pitfalls suffered by other directories recently?
  • The term rubber stamped, in the US can mean "to pass without inspection" and has connotations of footprints and tracks - is this not a poor choice for a directory name?
  • When and how will this be actively promoted?

There, that should give you sweaty palms for a bit Peter :) it's friday afterall so instead of lounging around and posting to the RubberStamped blog you can tell us a bit more about the new project...

I'll end though, in case it didnt come across, that if i had to support, or wish well any directory project, an offering from the likes of Peter would be it. Good luck with it mate..


Heh. Too much time on your ha

Heh. Too much time on your hands this Friday, Nick? ;)

Thanks for the opportunity - good questions.

-Why another directory?

I've got a few directories - I quite enjoy running them. However, the main reason is that I tire of waiting for DMOZ. One of the problems with that directory is that it can be slow to add sites. To get around this problem, I've adopted a model which will give editors the incentive to a) process link requests within a given time frame and b) pro-actively scout out and add sites. I find myself using directories often, so I think there is value in them if done correctly.

- What's different about this one?

I guess it's not that different, really. However, the main point of difference is that I want to build a smaller, more focused directory that orients around identifying authority sites. We label these sites "Topic Centers". I'm of the opinion that large communities of interest orient around very few authorities, and those authorities change over time. For example, the authoritative center of search is probably Danny Sullivan. If someone was new to search, they'd benefit from being pointed to SEW. That doesn't mean that other sites aren't also authoritative, however the central authority is usually a good place to start. As authorities change, so too will the listings of those sites. Sites that were authorities, but are no longer, will drop out and be replaced by new authorities. The model is supported by webmaster submissions. I also want to note at this point that Edward from SEO Consultants has been doing some killer coding on this directory. We're not quite fully W3C compliant yet, but we're nearly there.

-What have you done to avoid indexing pitfalls suffered by other directories recently?

I don't know the reasons why Google may not be indexing certain sites, but it is reasonable to expect that tens of thousands of empty categories may not be of much value to them.

I'm letting the directory grow organically. I'm limiting the categories until they are populated. I don't have site wide advertising. DMOZ had to start somewhere, and so do I.

I was having a conversation with a senior person at one of the major search companies, and his opinion was that directories are valuable as a source of citation. That's what I'm focusing my attention on - build a quality, fresh directory that provides the search engines, users and webmasters with value, while, hopefully, avoiding the pitfalls of the DMOZ model.

-The term rubber stamped, in the US can mean "to pass without inspection" and has connotations of footprints and tracks - is this not a poor choice for a directory name?

Too funny! I guess that highlights the problem of terms meaning different things to different cultures, eh. To my mind, rubberstamped means "certified". The rubber stamping process is a very human one, so I wanted to create those sorts of associations.

In the end, it's a brand. So long as it's memorable, for whatever reason, I'm happy :) The worst thing, from a marketing point of view, is not being talked about.

-When and how will this be actively promoted?

I'll got certain target demographics to whom I feel this directory will be of use. I'll be using AdWords. I'll be using the blogging world. Word of mouth. Placed advertising - all the marketing tools available to me in order to make this a success.

We've only just launched, and it took me by surprise how much interest and support this has generated, and the level of submissions received. Obviously there's a gap in the market, and hopefully it's onwards and upwards from here.

Thanks for the opportunity, Nick.

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